An open air screen in Britsol at a previous football tournament

World Cup: Big screen for city if England make the final?

Hopes that a big screen might be erected in the city if England make it through to the World Cup final appear to have been dashed.

Following England’s quarter-final victory against Sweden on Saturday afternoon, fans began talking openly about a venue for a screen in Canterbury.

England still have the matter of defeating Croatia in Moscow tomorrow (Wednesday) night before Sunday’s game against either France or Belgium.

And that, says Canterbury City Council, leaves too little time for arrangements to be made.

The authority also estimates the cost of setting up the screen would be too much.

Spokesman Leo Whitlock told the Canterbury Journal: “Every England fan that works at the city council is chuffed at the progress being made by Gareth Southgate and the boys. We’ve got everything crossed that it really is coming home.

“Like everyone else, we hadn’t dared to dream we would make it to the semi-finals so it was impossible to put arrangements in place in advance.

“We have considered a big screen somewhere in the city but have reached the conclusion the cost is prohibitive at around £15,000 to £20,000, there isn’t enough time to consult with anyone who would be affected especially residents living nearby and an enormous number of arrangements have to be made to keep people safe. That takes time.”

The city council has rescheduled a meeting tomorrow night so that staff, councillors and members of the public can watch the game and refocus on local government matters later.

Potential sites suggested for a big screen in Canterbury include Dane John Gardens and Victoria Rec.

Mr Whitlock added: “Looking around the country, most big screen experiences are put on by private companies which charge their customers.

“If you want to soak up the atmosphere, we suggest you make use of the district’s pubs and bars – a vital part of the local economy.”

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